When It Snows In the South.

12 Dec

Back in Atlanta. Karen did an awesome job driving through gales and light snowfall. Now the night is clear and enjoyably cold, a sliver of luminous moon high in the night.

Got a little more perspective on the iWPS situation. The PMS passed (hooray, no babies in my belly!) and I got some rest. It’s a given that I’ll hit a point of low energy and mild exhaustion at the end of any of these big competitions, especially since I feel compelled to sleep as little as possible, drink as much as possible, and eat as badly as possible. The end of a competition’s always sad, too, because you have to say goodbye to all your family. I caught myself crying a little on one of my last goodbye hugs.

What was great about this iWPS? The quality of work I saw was incredibly, consistently high. It’s been a few years since I left a competition feeling this inspired to write. Beating myself up for not making finals stage is par for the course, but in truth, I was really excited about both my bouts, and thrilled that, if I had to lose, it was to excellent poets.

It’s a truism, but change is difficult. Folks I love getting less connected to the scene hurts a bit when I’m still so in it. New poets stepping into the spotlight can be disconcerting when I’m still so crazy about the OGs. The realization that I’m no longer satisfied with my overall body of performance poems feels uncomfortable, but as long as I don’t beat myself up too much, it motivates me to grow.

The obviously good changes? I made a bunch of new friends this weekend (which makes up for not-sexing). I heard lots of really brilliant work for the first time. It isn’t even possible to name-drop all the poets who impressed me this weekend.

Charlotte’s a beautiful poetry town. It’s always a pleasure being in a city that supports its artists so well. And seriously, Inkera and the other organizers did an amazing job putting together such a tight event so quickly. Don’t forget to thank them, if you haven’t.

Happy and at peace tonight. Karen made pasta, and she and Gabe and I are quietly eating while Billie Jean naps on the couch. Grateful for art, glad to be in a safe, warm space with friends. ❤


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